Ben Roethlisberger doesn't need the legendary oversized shoe to play this weekend, but he might need some ibuprofen.
The Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback described his left pectoral injury to reporters Wednesday, telling them the ailment causes pain "when I reach for something outside the framework of my body or when I push up off the ground" (via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette), but added is "going to do everything I can" to be ready to play Sunday versus the Cincinnati Bengals. He did not practice Wednesday.
Roethlisberger suffered the injury in Pittsburgh's loss to the Las Vegas Raiders, a game in which the Raiders' pass rush harassed the Steelers QB often enough to record 13 quarterback pressures, two sacks and two turnovers caused by pressure. It was the second time Roethlisberger -- known for much of his career as a passer who was more likely to shake off a would-be sack than actually take one -- was sacked twice in a game this season, marking the first two-game stretch with multiple sacks taken since Weeks 15 and 16 in 2018.
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin admitted Roethlisberger was likely hit too much in the loss to Las Vegas. Roethlisberger, though, didn't pinpoint a specific play -- sack taken or otherwise -- in which he suffered the injury. He just knew it happened at some point during the game.
Roethlisberger's Steelers have yet to get off the ground offensively, scoring a combined 33 points between their first two games. On Sunday, the ground game was irrelevant for both squads and especially for Pittsburgh, which finished with a whopping 39 rushing yards as a team, failing to bring balance that might alleviate some of the pressure put on Roethlisberger when dropping to throw. Perhaps more discouraging than anything was Tomlin's decision to punt on fourth-and-1 (albeit deep in Pittsburgh's own territory) while trailing by nine points with just 8:23 remaining in the game.
Essentially, Tomlin put it in the hands of his team's strength: its defense, a unit that suffered its own share of injuries Sunday.
It didn't work out, and for what seems like the eighth or ninth time in his illustrious career, Roethlisberger is playing hurt. The Steelers will hope the pectoral injury doesn't limit his ability to deliver passes against the AFC North rival Bengals this weekend.